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I've seen the term "poselet" mentioned a few times (e.g. A and B) as some sort of construct used in facial recognition.

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    $\begingroup$ Your reference "B" explains that it's a construct specific to facial recognition. $\endgroup$ – whuber Feb 17 '16 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ @whuber Ah, I see what you're saying, I've edited my question to reflect this. $\endgroup$ – Esteemator Feb 17 '16 at 18:09
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The short answer is:

A poselet describes a particular part of the human pose under a given viewpoint.

The quote comes from this paper "Poselets: Body Part Detectors Trained Using 3D Human Pose Annotations" where I think the term may have been coined.

In the paper mentioned above, they are used as intermediate features in a computer vision pipeline for torso detection, keypoint detection, and people detection. The researchers train a large number of SVM models to identify specific poselets, which are then fed as features into a final top level model which performs the learning tasks. You could see this as feature engineering for a task-specific type of model stacking.

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